Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Will Congress Turncoat Jitin Prasada Help BJP Retain Pilibhit Seat Represented By Varun Gandhi?

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Will Congress Turncoat Jitin Prasada Help BJP Retain Pilibhit Seat Represented By Varun Gandhi?

The Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency is one of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in the northern state of politically significant Uttar Pradesh, which sends the most number of Members of Parliament (MPs) to India's parliament.

Abhishek YadavUpdated: Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 12:16 AM IST
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BJP chose Jitin Prasada who quit Congress to join the BJP to fight from Pilibhit Lok Sabha seat instead of sitting MP Varun Gandhi | FPJ

Lucknow: Among the high profile constituencies set to go to polls in the first phase of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024, the Pilibhit seat in Uttar Pradesh stands out for several reasons. The constituency was seen as a BJP and Feroze Varun Gandhi bastion, who represented the seat for two terms. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denied ticket to Varun Gandhi for the 2024 Lok Sabha Election from this seat and instead fielded Jitin Prasada, who quit the Congress to join the BJP in 2021 to fight from the seat.

This would also be the first time that the mother-son duo of Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi are not in the fray from Pilibhit since 1989. In fact, Maneka Gandhi won and represented the seat a total of five times (1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and then in 2014). On the other hand, Varun contested and won from the seat in 2009 and then in 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.

Pilibhit Lok Sabha Constituency Profile

Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency is made up of has four assembly segments.

Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency is made up of has four assembly segments. | pilibhit.nic.in

The Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency is one of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in the northern state of politically significant Uttar Pradesh, which sends the most number of Members of Parliament (MPs) to India's parliament.

The Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency or district is also home to five Vidhan Sabha seats namely Pilibhit, Baheri, Barkhera, Puranpur and Bisalpur. Apart from Baheri, which is represented by a Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA, all the other seats were won by the BJP candidates in the 2022 UP assembly election. This shows the dominance of BJP in the Pilibhit district.

History and background

In the first Lok Sabha Elections held in the country and in Pilibhit in 1952, the seat was won by Congress' Mukund Lal Agrawal. The seat was then dominated by the Praja Socialist Party's Mohan Swarup won it from 1957 to 1967 on PSP ticket and then in 1971 on Congress ticket.

2019 Lok Sabha Election Result From Pilibhit

In the previous general elections held in the year 2019, Pilibhit was a keenly observed seat and also witnessed a strong fight and active campaigning by the candidates and star campaigners of parties.

The constituency recorded a voter turnout of 67.20 percent. Feroze Varun Gandhi of the BJP won the contest by a comfortable margin of 2,55,627 votes. Hemraj Verma of the Samajwadi Party was the runner-up and had received 4,48,922 votes.

File image of Varun Gandhi addressing a rally

File image of Varun Gandhi addressing a rally |

The constituency then again saw the dominance of the Congress party on this seat in the 1980s before the Janata Dal and the BJP emerged as a strong force from Pilibhit. Maneka Gandhi won the seat in 1989 on Janata Dal ticket before Parshuram Gangwar claimed the seat in 1991. However, Maneka Gandhi returned to dominate the seat as Janta Dal candidate and then as an independent in 1998, 1999 and 2004. Her son Varun Gandhi contested and won in 2009 and 2019, while Maneka had fought and represented the seat in 2014 general elections.

2024 Lok Sabha Elections candidate

This time, now that Varun Gandhi is not in the fray for the polls from Pilibhit, the constituency is set to see a fight between BJP candidate Jitin Prasada and SP's Bhagwat Sharan Gangwar. The BSP has fielded Anees Ahmad Khan from the seat but the contest is expected mainly between the BJP and SP on this constituency.

Voting in Pilibhit will take place on April 19, the first of the seven phases of voting for the Lok Sabha Elections. The counting of votes will be held on June 4. The Election Commission of India on March 16 declared the dates for the polling and counting of votes for India's general election 2024.

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